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Jun
19
2007

And We Meet Again

By Jack Cobra  |  Comments (15) | Hype It Up!  |   Filed Under: Baseball | Jack Cobra Archive

Slammin' Sammy The Cubs head into Arlington tonight to play the Texas Rangers and.....Sammy Sosa. Ugh. I was going to just let this whole thing pass and not say anything (kind of like the stuff with the guy from San Fran), but Sosa was a Cub for 13 years, so something needs to be said, I suppose. (Can you feel the reluctance?)

This is kind of like when you run into an ex-girlfriend. You are probably coming out of the Ice Cream Shop eating a Mint Chocolate Chip Waffle Cone with your new girlfriend, a medical student, eating Pralines n' Cream. You are both looking good, feeling good and enjoying the early evening. You run into your ex. She has a new boyfriend. He wears sandals, but they have velcro on them. He looks like he spends a lot of time in the woods trying to figure out what different leaves look like. She looks like she's seen better days; they aren't holding hands and look like they haven't talked in the past two hours. You ask how she's doing, "Fine." She replies. You can feel the consternation in her voice and say, "Nice to see you," and move on. Maybe your new girlfriend giggles a little bit because of the girl you used to date, maybe she just files it away until later on in the evening when she asks you if that was the girl who couldn't get along with your family.....

When Sosa was with the Cubs I really didn't like him that much. He seemingly never hit a cut off man, he was a bad baserunner, he stopped stealing bases once he started hitting home runs, he showed up to Spring Training later than everyone else, he rarely hit in the clutch, etc. The list could go on and on. BUT....I do realize that he brought a lot of joy to some Cubs fans. Sammy would hit some prodigious home runs that would bring the fans to their feet and his 66 home run season (although probably performance enhancement drug aided) was something that people will tell their children about. Sosa helped lead the Cubs into the playoffs twice and while they never made it to the World Series, there was a lot of excitement.

As most people know, Sosa's decline with the Cubs was almost as quick as his exit out of the players parking lot during the 7th inning of the final game of the 2004 Season. His once lighting quick bat speed began to slow down and his walk totals began to drop like a lead balloon from the Hancock Building. Everyone knew (especially Steve Stone) how to strike out Sosa (low and away, up and in, right down the middle) but somehow he went from being a free swinging, skinny kid from the Dominican to a player who made a lot of fans in Chicago happy.

Sosa is now in Texas, but he'll always be a Cub in one form or another. Sosa's relationship with the Cubs is bittersweet now, as is this article, but we can't ignore that he brought a lot of happiness to the North Side. Thanks Sammy, I think?


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15 Comments
Big Daddy said

Funny, that whole girlfried anecdote seems very familiar to me...


And, the 66 HR's were never proven to be aided by chemicals, only cork.


Sweet Lou was interviewed and when asked about Sammy he replied that he was well liked in Chi-town for a long time and he hit a lot of HR's and anyone who hits 600 is a sure HOF'er...

Your thoughts on the fact of Sammy being a "sure" HOF'er??

Jack Cobra said

The only way I can use 'sure' and 'HOF' in the same sentence for Sammy (besides this one) is....There 'sure' will be a lot of controversy when the time rolls around for people to vote on whether Sammy gets into the HOF or not.

I don't think he gets in. His hat size has enlarged too much since his rookie season for people to think he wasn't 'using'.

Jack Cobra said

I tried to make up that gf scenario in a way that was very broad and might seem familiar to a lot of people. I'm sneaky like that.

Hank said

I hope to see Sosa hop around the bases at some point during the series just to bring back memories. Since the majority of his homers were meaningless a Sosa homerun comes when his team is down or up by a bunch and will have no effect on the game (knock on wood)

Jack Cobra said

Do you realize that if Sosa hits a homer at some point in this series it will be #600? I'd prefer that not to happen against the Cubs.

Jack Cobra said

Do you realize that if Sosa hits a homer at some point in this series it will be #600? I'd prefer that not to happen against the Cubs.

larron said

Sosa bashers are a unique breed of asshole! Name something or someone worth rooting for during that period? I've been a cub fan my entire life, and I see why people hate the fan base because I've come to hate the " fan base". Like he told you to fuck off or something. Sad

Jack Cobra said

There were 24 other players on the roster when the Cubs made the playoffs. You can choose from Mark Grace to Gary Gaetti to Kyle Farnsworth to Mark Prior to Kerry Wood to see...it could go on and on and on.

if you want me to write something where I truly bash him, I will. It's very easy to do.

Ron Mexico said

I liked Sosa when he was a Cub. He had a way to make the game seem refreshing with his energy. But, he quickly took that and threw it away with the way he handled his "exit" from Chicago. Not saying it was all on him, but he handled the situation with zero/little class. I'm glad he sucked in Baltimore, I'm glad he sat out a year of baseball, I'm glad he only got a minor league deal with Texas. I just hate to see a guy like him have better numbers than a guy like Ken Griffey Jr. Someone who is way more deserving of his accomplishments.

Jack Cobra said

I don't like a player who thinks he is bigger than the rest of the club. That being said, he did hit a ton of home runs.

Big Daddy said

"I've been a cub fan my entire life, and I see why people hate the fan base because I've come to hate the ' fan base'. Like he told you to fuck off or something. Sad "


Personally, I think he gave all us Cub fans a big 'Fuck Off' when he left in the 7th inning...

The reason he liked as well as he was is because while he was hitting 60+ HR's for all those years, the Cubs kept all his indesgressions (sp?) like the stereo and the dislike from his teammates under raps.

Once he no longer put asses in the seats, there was no need to cover up for him anymore and everyone found out just how big his ego (and head) were.

That is the reason that he is disliked, or not appreciated, as he once was.


As for the HOF, I have no reason to believe that the ballots will turn out any different for Sammy than the did for Mark.


The worst part is that it is sad that the two men who saved the game of baseball after the strike are the same two tainted the game again only a few years after. With the help of "*" himself.

Captain Morgan said

Couple of thoughts here...for some reason Jack, I actually think you have told me that very same story about you running into an ex, except that I think Ice Cream shoppe can be replaced with Coffee Shop. So don't say you are being sneaky about it, that is an actual truth, not a hypothetical...

Its interesting to note all of the thoughts about baseball during the last 20 years, by in large the steroid era...I think that most individuals would be naive to think that the majority of professional athletes (not simply baseball alone) are not abusing some sort of "enhancing" drug. Discussions of HOF and records today and whether or not they should be counted are as common as Al Gore talking about the oppressive heat...I think that this era is apart of baseball as when the "rabbit" ball was introduced...Maybe I will write something about this when I return from my stint on the open seas, the WiFi connection is pretty terrible in the middle of that Atlantic...

Jack Cobra said

whoa, whoa, whoa! I want to make it clear that in no way did that hypothetical scenario actually happen to me at any time during my life....yet. I do like Mint Chocolate Chip Ice Cream in a waffle cone though.

CT said

I'm a Cubs fan who's rather ambivelant about Sosa. I'm glad he's gone (and wish he'd been shipped out when was still worth something) but I don't hate the guy. He's pretty much everything you said, except for one thing: Sosa wasn't that bad in the clutch. He wasn't great, but his numbers in "clutch" situations are pretty much the same as his career averages.

I liked Sosa for years for the obvious reason: he radiated love for the game and exuberance, and the fans picked up on that. That, and he hit a ton of home runs at a time when no one really thought about steroids.

I stopped liking Sosa at the same time everyone else did, and for the same reasons, as mentioned above: once the homers started receding, everyone became aware that while he was great to fans and always good for a soundbite, he wasn't exactly on great terms with his own teammates.

I don't think he'll make the Hall of Fame because of the steroid controversy. While Barry Bonds was a HOF-caliber player before steroids, Sosa was not, and his prodigious power numbers are all he has to recommend him (his career OBP is .344 - above average, but fully 100 points below Bonds' career OBP). Even if Sosa plays two more seasons and catches Mays for fourth all-time, I don't think I see it. His game will be remembered as one-dimensional (even though he was almost a 40-40 guy a couple times in his mid-20s) and since that one dimension is now considered tainted, he'll be turned away, same as McGwire (who had the same problem, except that he really was one-dimensional his whole career).


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